Hydropedology in action! Installing an intensive site in watershed 3 at Hubbard Brook.

After coming back from the Gordon conference on catchment science last week, Scott, Kevin, Rebecca, and I were all ready to get out in the field to get dirty and get to work on what we had been talking about all week at our posters at the conference.  Maggie lamented our return and the subsequent drop in her productivity, but she pretended to be happy to see us.

After being rained out on Monday we finally got out in the field on Tuesday and began digging two soil pits for the second of three intensive monitoring sites in watershed 3.  This site would be near the top of the watershed in an area where we think shallow depth to confinement has led to a lot of lateral flow and therefore E and Bhs podzols.  The two pits are pictured below and despite their proximity to one another (you can see the well installed in each in a picture below) they are morphologically very different.

Once the pits were dug, described, and sampled, the installation begun.  In each pit we have 4 tensiometers measuring soil water potential, 4 soil moisture probes, and two pore water samplers.  The vacuum on the pore water samplers is controlled by a ninth tensiometer installed between the two pits, allowing us to sample mobile water on lateral flow paths!  Here’s to getting some data!

Oh, did I mention Kevin, Scott, and Maggie also augured a 2m deep well into the Cd (dense glacial till) at the site the very same day?

It was a big day in the field, with the last of us hiking down around 7:30-8pm, and that was with a lot of help.  Thanks to REUs Erik Thatcher and Phoebe Rosen as well as Geoff Wilson from the Hubbard Brook Research Foundation for helping us carry heavy things, dig holes, and for the kind of conversation out in the field that leads to thinking about things that may never have crossed your mind otherwise.